It's not easy being George Noory. True, I haven't any such intimate experience to tell me this is so, however, one close gander at his job and you'd be hard pressed to think anything other. The man has to sell his guests like his products. Every night a new guest, every night George Noory has to make them look legit for at least three hours.
Sometimes (I would say the majority of the time now that I think of it) you can tell he's really streching himself. He doesn't believe this malarchy, nor can he believe that he's being forced to shill it, but there he goes. Now, there are times when it's not so bad. The guest for the night has enough charisma to carry us through an entertaining three hours. But then...there are those special Coast moments. Those episodes where Noory isn't trying to sell every word out of the guests mouth like Mick Folley does a chair shot. Rather, a certain chemistry is present. Whether it be a meshing of personalities or Noory's own personal interest in the topic or that our intrepid host finds himself the right approach to work for the night, there is an unquestionable chemistry that makes one absolutely enthuised to listen. Last night I sat up in bed around one in the morning. Conjested and thoroughly run down from a suprise cold, I was most distressed. Yet despite how torrid I was feeling, I couldn't help but put my lethargy to the wayside as the tandom of George Noory and Paul Devereux produced one of the best episodes of Coast I've listened to all year!
First, how can I suitably praise Devereux's Coast debut. Guest of the year? Natch', yet there's so much more to consider. Devereux marks a break in the esoteric fanatic line of guests, perhaps being the first guest to seriously approach the subject of UFOs, ancient astronounts and other favorite esoteric venues with a critical open mind, and no, that's not an oxymoron. Rather than go off the deep end and wave his arms around shouting 'UFOs are here!', Devereux offers the interpretation that strange things are happening all around our planet but they have more to do with a hindered conception of 'reality' than any space invaders from another planet. The concept of UFOs as is propagated today and the pantheon of aliens allegedly visiting us is, in Devereux's estimation, based upon our interpretation reality, much like the Greek gods, for example, were based upon the ancient Greek interpretation of reality. The Greeks didn't now about Jets, supersonic travel, or interspace flight, therefore their interpretations of these diverse phenomenon were based soley on what they knew: charoits, fire, swords, music, etc. Today, the benefit of science has allowed humanity to construct a new mythology of these very same phenomenon based upon our own reality.
It cannot be stressed enough how many props Devereux deserves for this point. Whether you agree with it or not, a critical study of UFO reports and UFOlogy in general from the 1950's to present reveals an evolving conception of what is going on. In the fifties, with the advent of rocket science, UFO's were describes in cold metallic terms and aliens depicted in sterile space suites. Flash forward 50 years, with the advent of nano-technology, the internet, dark matter, the theory of parallel universes, and a craze for New Age spirituality here and there, and we find that UFOs are being described in more fluid terms, often as seeming "interdimmensional" and aliens having an increasingly ethereal essence to them. A new mythology for a new era with its own interpretation of reality.
As for our fearless host, George Noory hasn't sounded this sharp in a while. Noory seemed generally interested and his line of questioning and interaction with Devereux reflected this. Haza! to Noory for busting a move doubtlessly learned from a long history with Stanton Friedman. Towards the end of the third hour while still discussing UFOs, Noory pressed the vintage Friedman line: "there's those five percent of sightings that are unexplained."
Doubtlessly the pions at Fantastic Forum will piss and moan and gripe that Devereux shouldn't be on anymore. The minute a guest starts deviating from the textbook fantastic orthodoxy, these little squablers start to shout, adding more credence to Devereux's theory that so long as aliens from another planet and ancient astronauts are the only explanation, we'll remain enslaved to our hindered post-modern interpretation of reality.
If I had it my way, which I don't, this would be nominated for a Coastie. As it stands now, move over great UFO debate, like the lone gunnman who nominated Crying Game for an oscar years ago, I'm picking this as my Episode of the Year!